Sunday Sermon 7.10.21
It is always so exciting when a wonderful event happens in the family. Be it a new birth, graduation, new job, or wedding, we are thrilled for the joy and challenge that it brings.
Can you recall a promotion you received? Remember it’s excitement, awe, and the uncertainty too that accompanied it?
Do you remember when you made your commitment to Jesus? What feelings, emotions and thoughts did you deal with?
Events are set in time but emotions and feelings change, don’t they?
We have this story of Elisha receiving a huge job promotion.
Here he was a farmer, and a wealthy one at that, out plowing the field with a yoke of oxen, accompanied by 11 other yoke also plowing. Out of the blue, a man walks up to him, who happened to be the reigning number 1 prophet in the land, and this man approches Elisha, takes off his outer coat (of goat hair, representing his prophetic status), and places it on Elisha’s shoulders. He then turns and walks off. No words were spoken. Just a coat drop and off he went.
Elisha immediately realizing what had just happened, (he was being chosen to become Elijah’s replacement), left the oxen and took off running after Elijah. When he reached him, he said, “Please, let me first go and kiss my mother and father good-bye, then I’ll follow you.”
Elisha’s odd reply to him was,
” Go ahead, but, mind you, don’t forget what I have just done to you.”1 Kings 19:20
It seems that permission was granted for good-byes, but with a sharp challenge, DON’T FORGET this moment. In the midst of the hugs, kisses, tears, stories, celebration, sadness of loss, and excitement of new ventures, DON’T FORGET this moment and what I have done to you. DON’T FORGET to focus on the future, DON’T FORGET to focus on your call, DON’T FORGET to come back to this release and empowerment. DON’T FORGET the meaning of that hairy coat on your shoulders.
All too often, when we choose to go back, we do loose focus. We forget. We get entangled in the mire of what was and is rather than the hope and purpose of what will be. That is probably why Jesus told us,
” No man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom.”Luke 9:62
” Anyone who loves Father and Mother more than me is not worthy of me.”Matthew 10:37
And yet, Elijah told Elisha, “Go ahead”. “But don’t forget…”
Amazing contrasts here.
How did this new, heir apparent respond? Now THIS is remarkable!
“Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.”1 Kings 19:21
Talk about a serious, all in commitment!!
Elisha totally destroyed everything from his past way of life to which he could return. He left no plan B, if this “prophet in training” thing didn’t work out. He was fully committemt to the future and what God was calling him to. He would not look back, or love his family more. His farmer life was over, his past vocation now in the rear-view as he walked, NOT FORGETTING the hairy coat on his shoulders and what it represented. He allowed his past to become a blazing inferno.
He now was the right hand man to the number 1 prophet in the land and was being trained to step in to even greater works and miracles than Elijah had done.
He was not about to forget that experience in the field, that calling to a new vocation. He was not about to forget its weight, severity, hope, and inspiration. He would not forget, get sidetracked or loose focus.
He was called to something bigger and better.
My friend, so are you. You are called to something bigger and better. What is it? Don’t forget your calling. Don’t get distracted.
You have been given a promotion from God, don’t forget it. Let go of any plan B’s you may still be clinging to. Burn ’em up, slaughter ’em.
There are greater miracles for you, more power for you, many more adventures for you as you walk as His servant and right-hand person.
Go with God.